the cast of love: meet klara kristin
How did Klara Kristin - an unassuming artist’s assistant from Copenhagen - fall into Gaspar Noé’s libido-laden world of Love, lust et des ménages à trois?
Klara Kristin is the (as of yet) unknown star of a film called Love, where L might be for "the way you look at me", but O is definitely not for "the only one I see"... With its unsimulated sex acts and explicit 3D cum shots, Gaspar Noé's lip-lickingly good Love is the erotic melodrama that's got titillation-seekers on the edge of their seats and the French powers that be slapping 18 ratings all over it. But really, it's not a porno. "People keep mentioning sex instead of love, even though the name of the movie is Love and the story is about love," Klara says. "It's the tantalising tale of a boy and two girls - one the love of the boy's life, the other the mother of his child. Klara plays 16-year-old Omi, the latter of the two.
Born in Copenhagen to a creative family, Klara ended up dropping out of secondary school to study art, took an online course in philosophy, and had not once thought of acting as a plausible career choice. She was working as a painting assistant to an artist when she chanced upon Noé in a Parisian nightclub last year. Since then Klara has been flitting between Denmark, Paris and LA, often in a frothy, pink Saint Laurent dress, with kohl-lined eyes and gold hoop earrings. We speak to her just after her 23rd birthday. She's staying on Kys Alle (Kiss Avenue) in Freetown Christiania, an autonomous hippy commune in Copenhagen. "I'm here with my lovely boyfriend while our place is getting renovated," Klara tells us. "There are flowers all around from my birthday, standing in buckets, pots and anything else we could find for vases." It sounds like a very different setting to the lusty, rouge-lit bedrooms of Love.
Since that fated night in Paris, Klara's life has taken a turn for the unexpected. But she doesn't seem to have any qualms about going from hippy artist to one of the lead characters in a film that has been hastily labelled a "3D porno". That might be because she declined to take part in any of the unsimulated sex scenes (the most awkward part for her to film was the scene with the crying baby - "Fuck man, big respect to all the mothers out there!"), or maybe it's because, as one modern-day feminist author pointed out, sex isn't inherently wrong, therefore neither is porn; it's the male-dominated industry that's fucking things up for women. Maybe we need more films like Love that show sex in a different way to the misogynistic porn industry? "It's really sad if the only image young people get of sex is from the cynical porn industry," Klara agrees. "I think more movies should portray the natural physical act of love." When we ask if she thinks people should be more open about sex in general, Klara the philosopher raises her head. "Maybe not actually. Fifty Shades of Grey got even 70-year-old women talking about [sex] in cafeterias… I think it could be more interesting is to be more open about love." Perhaps Love is the feminists' answer to porn, especially as one of the only spoken lines you hear in the trailer is Electra (love of boy's life), whispering, "Can you show me how tender you can be?"
Klara is also Hedi Slimane's newest muse, appearing on the Saint Laurent men's spring/summer 16 runway and in the Saint Laurent Surf Sound Summer Part 1 campaign, but she has not always been as confident in her own skin as one might assume after watching Love. "When I was younger, I was very insecure about how I looked," she says. "I thought I should have a stomach like Britney Spears, but I didn't. Now I know that it's beautiful to just be natural and happy." Her advice to anyone else with body insecurities is, "Your difference is your beauty, it's what makes you special. Do you have crooked teeth? That's what makes your smile. People always want what they don't have instead of embracing what they do have."
Speaking of Britney Spears, we ask what music Klara is playing on repeat right now. "My iPod hasn't been updated since the year 2000, so that's always Gigi D'Agostino, French Affair and some other really cheesy songs!" Her favourite pop stars off the top of her head are: "First the local ones: MØ, Lukas Graham, Mendoza and When Saints Go Machine - check them out, so fucking cool - then of course Rihanna the queen of pop, M.I.A. - I heard she produces all her music herself - Grimes, Crystal Castles..."
Surprisingly, Klara has - at time of print - only got 630 followers on Instagram. Does she care? "It's a hard question," she says. "Personally, no I don't care, but on a professional level I do. Today Instagram works as a business card... It's funny to see other people through their little Insta-window." Perhaps it's because Love isn't released to the masses until November 20, but we're certain it's only a matter of time before she gets her own @klarakristinarmy on Instagram and "fuckyeahklarakristin" URL on Tumblr.
Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Ben Colen
Styling Nicolas Klam
Hair Caile Noble at Jed Root using Kérastase
Make-up Elie Maalouf at Jed Root using Charlotte Tilbury